The Patient Safety Strategy says new system will use AI to improve learning from care incidents.

New NHS digital reporting system will allow safety concerns to be reported via mobile phones

By Tammy Lovell
06:52 AM

A new national patient safety reporting system will allow staff, patients and families to report care incidents on their mobile phones.

The system will replace the “outdated technology” currently being used to report incidents, according to the recently published NHS patient safety strategy.

Since 2003, the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) has been the main system for reporting and reviewing patient safety incidents. The database receives around two million incidents a year and is used to develop NHS policy and guidance.

But the outdated system will now be replaced by the Patient Safety Incident Management System (PSIMIS), which will use technology such as data-cleansing algorithms to protect patient anonymity and artificial intelligence (AI) to process incident data in new ways.

WHY IT MATTERS

According to the strategy document, the new system will use a “single simple portal” to make safety incident reporting “easier and more rewarding,” increasing insight from parts of the NHS, like primary care, that find it harder to report.

Whereas the NRLS works primarily in hospitals, the new system is being designed to also be used in primary and community care settings.

“You can do it from your mobile phone and it’s designed to support you to do what you need quickly and easily without needing loads of kit to support it,” said Lucie Musset, NHS patient safety lead for the new product.

The system also aims to make safety data “more accessible and transparent” by offering a self-service portal to search, analysis and download data to support local learning and improvement.

THE LARGER TREND

NHS England and Improvement national director of patient safety, Dr Adrian Fowler, is leading the patient safety strategy to support the delivery of the NHS long-term plan. It aims to improve the safety of patients over the next decade, by helping staff to play an active role in spotting and stopping safety issues.

ON THE RECORD

Dr Fowler said: “The NHS is already a pioneer for safety – developing the world’s first and largest incident reporting system - but we want to go even further as part of our long-term plan.”

Musset said: “The new system is not only about updating the technology, but it’s about creating something that fits with the kind of patient safety culture that we want to see now.”

Amber Jabber, head of policy at NHS Providers, said: “It is right that NHS staff across all levels are given the training, expertise and resources needed to fully embed an effective safety culture and spot the risks of patient harm when they occur. Staff and trusts must also have the support and resource they require to adopt the digital solutions which will play a key role in delivering these aims.”